President of MLT Vacations, John Caldwell, says there are two reasons why travel agents will find added value when they book vacation packages for their clients through the tour operator: its relationship with Delta Air Lines for one, and its commitment to delivering superior sales and service, for another.
“As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta, MLT Vacations can offer its travel agent partners customized quality vacation packages with the lowest available airfares and discounted hotel rates at thousands of top hotels and resorts worldwide,” he says. “MLT Vacations also offers exclusive pricing on all classes of seating inventory, including first class and BusinessElite, as well as bonus Delta SkyMiles. And, SkyMiles customers can attain Medallion status and award travel faster with MLT Vacations than with any other tour operator.”
MLT Vacations is made up of Delta Vacations (in partnership with Air France Holidays and Alitalia Vacations), and Aeromexico Vacations. To date, MLT Vacations offers more than 4,000 hotels and resorts in over 250 destinations around the world.
“We are always working to enhance and refine our destinations and product strategy to meet the dynamic needs of our travel agent partners and their clients,” adds Caldwell. Broken down in specific regions around the globe, MLT Vacations has added more than 130 new hotels to its Europe offerings; 20 properties in the Caribbean; and in Mexico and Latin America, the company added more than 10 to their overall hotel portfolio.
In Mexico, for example, agents can now offer their clients vacations in La Paz and Loreto. “These are stunning world-class destinations with much to offer, from whale watching and golf to sunbathing and spa treatments,” says Caldwell. While in the Caribbean, MLT Vacations recently added Samana in the Dominican Republic as well as the island of Grenada, which includes Sandals LaSource Resort and Spa, along with four other top resorts to its overall portfolio for travel agents.
Along with its growing portfolio of hotels and destinations, MLT Vacations is paying attention to today’s travel trends by offering agents more than just the average getaway for their clients.
“Another aspect of the trend toward more authentic vacation experiences is a move away from traditional group tour buses,” says Caldwell. “MLT Vacations recently added small group walking tours in Rome. These tours are limited in size, conducted in English and allow travelers to become truly immersed within a destination and to have richer experiences while on vacation. And, with our primary tour partner, Globus, we offer river cruises around the world including the Mekong River in Asia and the Amazon River in South America.” The strengthened relationship with Globus will also give travel agents access to Avalon Waterways’ Mississippi River cruises, such as the 11-day Chicago to St. Paul, MN, Fall Foliage Spectacular cruise, and the 12-day Nashville to New Orleans America’s Heartland cruise.
Yet the biggest news for agents this year is the announcement of its Delta Vacations Rewards-to-Go program. The program allows travel agents to earn points on all flight and hotel bookings of three nights or more, and in turn, travel agents can earn one point from each $5 in booking revenue made. Each point can then be redeemed when agents make their own travel plans; bonus points are also provided when agents book one of Delta Vacations’ Gold, Silver or Bronze Preferred Pick Hotels.
Travel agents can also benefit from MLT Vacations’ strong connection to Delta’s information technology and service resources. “Late last year, MLT Vacations launched a new interactive Delta Vacations route-mapping tool for travel agents that streamlines the planning process and allows them to better serve their clients,” says Caldwell.
Caldwell says travel agents can gain from working with MLT not only with commissionable bookings but with all air and land components to a client’s vacation. “Our business development managers are…agency focused and committed to delivering the highest levels of customer service possible.” He also commends WorldAgent Direct, MLT Vacations’ exclusive travel agent booking portal, which contains the latest product and destination information, and is available to travel agents 24/7.
“Travel agents need to align themselves with partners that provide services and tools that empower them to better serve their clients,” he says. “From [a tour operator] perspective, this means that travel agents should work with tour operators that add material value by providing robust and reliable technology, dynamic and customizable marketing tools, and unique educational opportunities that provide relevant, actionable information that helps travel agents grow their businesses.”